Events of the Decade:
World War II
Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor and U.S. is in it
U.S. drops Atomic Bombs on Japan
Atom Bomb drops on Bikini Atoll
Independence of India and Pakistan, Ceylon, Burma, Vietnam, Iceland, Laos, Korean People's Republic (North Korea), Lebanon and Transjordan
British Mandate in Palestine ends; rise of the State of Israel
Communist takeover of Czechoslovakia
Yugoslavia and Albania become republics
Populations (1941 and 1946) in millions
China, 450 - 455
India, 389 - 311
U.S.S.R., 182 - 194
U.S., 131 - 140
& territories, 110 -
Japan, 105 - 73 (?)
Britain, 47 - 46
Brazil, 41 - 45
France, 40 - 40
West Germany, 48
Est Germany, 18
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
President Harry S. Truman
British PM's: Winston Churchill, Clement Attlee
Boxer Rocky Graziano
Child actress Natalie Wood
Baseball player Jackie Robinson, first Black
Syngman Rhee in South Korea
Chaim Weizmann and David Ben-Gurion in Israel
Alfred C. Kinsey
Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall
General Douglas MacArthur
Mao Tse Tung
Pilot Chuck Yaeger
Pandit Nehru of India
Architect Le Corbusier
King Umberto (Humbert) II of Italy
Charles De Gaulle
President Harry S. Truman
Marshal Tito in Yugoslavia
Six million Jews, Gypsies, and Communists in German Concentration Camps
155,200 at Hiroshima; 74,800 at Nagasaki from U.S. Atomic Bombs
"Untouchables" caste abolished in India
Executions at the Tower of London
6200 Jews, 2,000 Arab troops in Israeli War of Independence
2,403 Americans from Japanese bombs at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
1,500 in cargo ship explosion in Bombay Harbor
165 dead, 175 hurt in Hartford Ringling Brothers Circus fire
Mahatma Gandhi, 79
Orville Wright, 76
Leon Trotsky, 61
Neville Chamberlain, 71
Maurice Maeterlinck, 86
Richard Strauss, 85
Henry Ford, 82
Fiorello H. La Guardia, 65
Stanley, Earl Baldwin, 80
Robert, Lord Baden-Powell, 83
James Joyce, 58
David, Earl Lloyd George, 81
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 63
Benito Mussolini, 61
Adolf Hitler, 56
Béla Bartók, 64
Theodore Dreiser, 74
Edvard Munch, 80
Lucien Pissarro, 81
Heath Robinson, 72
Wendell Willkie, 52
John Logie Baird, 58
Gertrude Stein, 72
Damon Runyon, 62
Erwin Rommel, 52
Sherwood Anderson, 65
Virginia Woolf, 59
Kaiser William II, 82
Jan Paderewski, 80
Sergei Rachmaninov, 69
Wladyslaw Sikorski, 62
George Washington Carver
Al Capone, 48
Edouard Vuillard, 82
Grant Wood, 50
Pvt. Eddie Slovik
Alfonso XIII Spain
Steven Vincent Benet
Alexander Alekhine, 54
Mrs. Patrick Campbell
King Christian X Denmark
Prince Louis II Monaco
Booth Tarkington, 77
Jack Johnson, 68
William S. Hart
Jelly Roll Morton
General John Pershing
D.W. Griffith, 73
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Babe Ruth, 53
Walter Percy Chrysler
Prince George Duke of Kent
Czar Boris III of Bulgaria
Rupert D"Oyly Carte
Aimee Semple McPherson
Dame Marie Tempest
Joachim von Ribbentrop
Man O" War
George M. Cohan
F. Scott Fitzgerald
General George Patton
King Victor Emanuel II Italy
Joachim von Ribbentrop
Art forger Hans van Meegeren
British traitor William Joyce (Lord Haw-Haw)
Spy Whittaker Chambers
Murder, Inc. in the U.S.A.
South Africa begins official Apartheid, passing prohibition of mixed marriages act
Whomever decided to lock Japanese Americans in Concentration Camps
British killer Neville Heath
New cars: Kaiser-Fraser, Tucker
Sex kittens and sweater girls
Pinball machines with flippers
The jump shot in basketball
Black markets in Europe
Presidential carvings at Mount Rushmore president's carvings of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and T. Roosevelt by Gutzon Borglum
Coppertone suntan lotion
Betty Crocker and Duncan Hines cooking products
Electric steam irons
New dances: Conga line, lindy hop, kangaroo jump, jitterbug
Magnetic recording tape
The 33 rpm LP and the 45 rpm single record
The name "Thailand" for Siam
Jet propulsion invented
New Associations: The United Nations, U.N.E.S.C.O., Arab League, NATO, USO , Voice of America, World Health Organization, Atomic Energy Commission, House Un-American Activities Committee
British National Health Service
The Pentagon completed
Teenage girls" slumber parties
Silly putty and slinkies
Fluoridation of water supplies in cities
Mt. Palomar observatory
Edwin Land's Polaroid camera
The zoom lens
The electron microscope
B.F. Goodrich 's tubeless tire
Bazooka rocket gun
Painted caves at Lascaux, France
Mao Tse Tung
The Pledge of Allegiance
"Mother Courage and Her Children" by Berthold Brecht
Noël Coward's "Blithe Spirit"
Garson Kanin's "Born Yesterday"
Jean Genet's "The Maids"
Thornton Wilder's "The Skin of Our Teeth,"
"Mr. Roberts," "Arsenic and Old Lace"
Christopher Fry "The Lady's Not for Burning"
Sidney Kingsley's "Detective Story"
Jean Anouilh's "Antigone"
Sean O"Casey "Red Roses for Me"
Tennessee Williams "The Glass Menagerie," "A Streetcar Named Desire,"
Eugene O"Neill's "A Moon for the Misbegotten"
"Death of a Salesman" and "All My Sons" by Arthur Miller
T.S. Eliot "The Cocktail Party"
William Saroyan's "The Human Comedy"
"Cabin in the Sky"
Rodgers and Hart's "Pal Joey," "By Jupiter"
"Best Foot Forward"
Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Oklahoma!," "Carousel," "South Pacific"
Kurt Weill "One Touch of Venus," "Street Scene," "Lost in the Stars"
Cole Porter's "Kiss Me, Kate,"
Frank Loesser's "Where's Charley"
"On the Town" by Leonard Bernstein
"Finian's Rainbow" by Burton Lane"
Jule Styne's "High Button Shoes" "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,"
Irving Berlin's "Annie Get Your Gun" starring Ethel Merman
"Call Me Mister" by Harold Rome
Lerner and Lowe's "Brigadoon"
Fredrick Ashton's "Symphonic Variations," Balanchine's "Night Shadow" and Jerome Robbins" "Interplay and "Fancy Free"
Academy Award Winning Films:
"How Green Was My Valley"
"Going My Way"
"The Lost Weekend"
"The Best Years of Our Lives"
"All the King's Men"
Chaplin's "The Great Dictator," "Monsieur Verdoux,"
W.C. Fields in "My Little Chickadee," "The Bank Dick"
Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life"
Orson Welles" "Citizen Kane," "Jane Eyre,"
Alfred Hitchcock's "Rebecca," "Lifeboat," "Suspicion"
John Huston's "Treasure of the Sierra Madre and "Key Largo"
Laurence Olivier's "Henry V" and "Hamlet"
Walt Disney's "Fantasia," "Bambi," "Pinocchio"
Also "All About Eve," "Harvey," "The Bicycle Thief," "Gaslight," "Mrs. Miniver" with Greer Garson, David Lean's "Great Expectations," "How Green Was My Valley," "For Whom the Bell Tolls," "The Lost Weekend" "The Best Years of Our Lives" by William Wyler, "All the King's Men," "Les Enfants Terribles," and Carol Reed's "The Third Man" with Orson Welles and "Yankee Doodle Dandy"
First Cannes Film Festivals
Emmy Awards first presented
First televised sports, baseball, football, boxing, hockey
"Meet the Press"
"Kraft Television Theatre,"
"Mama," "The Big Story," "Ford Theatre," "The Life of Riley," "The Lone Ranger," "Fireside Theatre"
"Howdy Doody," "Kukla, Fran & Ollie," and Captain Video for kids
Daytime soap operas
Quiz shows: "Who Said That?" "Break the Bank," "Twenty Questions," "Stop the Music"
Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour, Milton Berle's "Texaco Star Theatre," "Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts," "The Perry Como Show," "The Ed Sullivan Show"
Fender Guitar Co brings out their solid-body electric
Darius Mihaud's opera "Medea"
Bing Crosby's song "White Christmas"
Stravinsky's Symphony in C
Prokofiev's ballet music for "Romeo and Juliet"
Béla Bartók's violin concerto
Paul Hindemith opera "Herodias"
Benjamin Britten's violin concerto, "Sinfonia de Requiem" and operas "Rape of Lucretia" and "Albert Herring"
Carlo Menotti's opera "the Medium"
Prokofiev's "War and Peace"
Darius Mihaud's Second Symphony
Ralph Vaughan Williams Symphony No. 5 in D
William Walton's "Scapino" overture, String Quartet in A minor
Aaron Copland's "Lincoln Portrait"
Shostakovich's 7th Symphony ("Leningrad") and 8th and 9th
Igor Stravinsky's Symphony in three movements
Khachaturian's "Ode to Stalin"
Bantam Books founded
Alfred Kinsey's "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male" shocks U.S.A.
Graham Greene "The Power and the Glory"
Robert Penn Warren's "All the King's Men"
Dylan Thomas" "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog"
Truman Capote's "Other Voices, Other Rooms"
James Michener's "Tales of the South Pacific"
Carson McCullers" "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter," "The Member of the Wedding"
Ernest Hemingway "For Whom the Bell Tolls,"
Nikos Kazantzakis "Zorba the Greek"
Alan Paton "Cry, the Beloved Country"
Simone de Beauvoir "Tous Les Hommes Sont Mortels," and "The Second Sex"
Joyce Cary "A Fearful Joy"
"The Fountainhead" by Ayn Rand
F. Scott Fitzgerald "The Last Tycoon"
John Hersey "A Bell for Adano," "Hiroshima"
George Orwell's "Animal Farm," "1984"
Evelyn Waugh's "Brideshead Revisited"
Katherine Winsor's "Forever Amber"
T.S. Eliot, "Little Gidding," "Four Quartets"
Aldous Huxley "Time Must Have a Stop"
Albert Camus, "L"Étranger," "The Plague," "Caligula," "The Myth of Sisyphus"
John Steinbeck "Cannery Row," "The Moon is Down" "Cass Timberlane"
"Gentlemen's Agreement" by Laura Z. Hobson
Robert Graves "The white Goddess," "Collected Poems"
Norman Mailer "The Naked and the Dead"
Somerset Maugham's "The Razor's Edge"
James Thurber "The Thurber Carnival"
Antoine de Saint Exupéry's "The Little Prince"
E.B. White "Here is New York"
Robert Frost's "Complete Poems"
Magritte's "Philosophy of the Boudoir," "The Call of the Summit," "The Fire Ladder," "The Age of Pleasure," "Lyricism," "The Pebble," "Black Magic"
Kandinsky's "Sky Blue," "Moderation," "Tempered Élan"
Matisse "Roumanian Blouse," "Persian Robe,"
Salvador Dalí's "Dali Atomicus"
Ben Shahn "Miners" Wives"
Andrew Wyeth "The Hunter," "Christina's World"
Willem de Kooning "Standing Man, Queen of Hearts"
Pierre Bonnard "L"Oiseau Bleu"
Mondrian's "Victory Boogie Woogie"
Edward Hopper's "Nighthawks"
Diego Rivera's "Market Place" and "The Rug Weaver"
Mark Rothko "Omen of the Eagle"
Max Ernst "Night and Day," "Echo-Plasm"
Grandma Moses "Catching the Thanksgiving Turkey," "Look, It's a New Little Colt," "Out for Christmas Trees," "The Mailman Has Gone"
Fernand Léger "Divers against a Yellow Background," "Homage to David"
Jackson Pollock "Composition No. 1"
Henry Moore and Felix Topolski drawings of war scenes
Henry Moore's sculptures "Madonna and Child," "Family Group," "Three Standing Figures," "Family Group"
Giacometti's sculptures "Man Pointing," "Head of the Mother of the Artist"
Graham Sutherland "Red Landscape"
Marc Chagall's sets and costumes for "The Firebird" ballet and his paintings "The Cow with a Parasol" "Night at Orgeval" and "The Juggler"
Calder's mobile "Red Pyramid"
Picasso is getting into pottery
Joan Miró's "The Harbor," "Woman and Stars"
Robert Motherwell's "The Spanish Prison," "Pancho Villa Dead and Alive"
Fashion & Beauty:
Overalls for the working stiff
"Utility" clothing with rationing in England
Skimpy bikini swimsuit first revealed at Paris fashion show by designer Louis Réard
Christian Dior's Wasp-waisted "New Look"- skin-tight bodice, nipped-in waist, skirts above-the- ankle
The little black dress
Silk embargos from Japan causes shortages; good thing there"s:
Nylon stockings the rage
Bare midriffs (1944)
Stars and Stripes U.S. Forces publication
Hitler suppresses Frankfurter Zeitung
NBC Television Network on the air
First TV broadcasts of sporting events
Voice of America begins foreign radio broadcasts
Postage stamps 3¢, Pound loaf of bread 8¢, quart of milk 12¢, gallon of gas 19¢
Hyperinflation in Hungary; prices rise 200 times per month for a year (1945-6)
Britain devalues the pound (from £1 = 4.03 to
£1 = $2.80);
introduces £5 notes with metal strips; nationalizes Bank of England, coal, iron, steel, gas, electricity and railways
World Bank founded
Black market prices in Germany; rationing in Britain
International Monetary Fund founded
After war US passes Marshall Plan and contributes $5.3 billion for European recovery
30% cost of living rise in U.S.
Henry Ford's fortune - $625 million
Price of gasoline - 17¢ a gallon
Price of a movie ticket - 60¢
William Temple appointed Archbishop of Canterbury
Japan disestablishes Shintoism
World Council of Churches formed in Amsterdam
World Jewish Congress in Montreux
Francis Xavier Cabrini canonized-first American citizen Saint
Jewish State 0f Israel proclaimed
World Religions (millions)
Roman Catholic, 331
Anglican, Protestant, 206
Confucians & Taoists, 351
US Religions (millions)
Roman Catholic, 25.2
Protestant Episcopal, 2.1
Bell Laboratories new "transistor"
Bell Lab's digital computer
Penicillin first used as an antibiotic to treat venereal diseases, scarlet fever
Fluoride discovered to reduce dental caries
Microwave oven invented by Jim Lovelock
Autism recognized as a medical condition
Scientists first propose theory that cigarette smoking causes cancer at University of Buffalo
Hepatitis virus identified
17,000 year old cave paintings found at Lascaux
Kinsey's research into sexual behavior
Manhattan Project of atomic research
Fusion of H. Bomb
First electronic "brain" or computer-ENIAC
LSD first synthesized
Preparation of antibiotics Aureomycin, Neomycin, Streptomycin and Chloromycetin;
Development of the reflecting microscope
Quinine, Cortisone and Vitamin A synthesized
Dramamine found to prevent motion sickness
Discovery of carbon-13 isotope (Carbon dating process)
Sunspots seen to emit radio waves
First kidney machine
Dead Sea Scrolls discovered
Chemotherapy used in advanced prostate cancer
New Slang Words:
Are you a man or a mouse?
Are you kidding?
Blood, sweat and tears
Have someone over a barrel
Expression "cold war" first used
When the chips are down...
Don't call us, we"ll call you
Flattery will get you nowhere
Nice guys finish last
Get a load of this
Go to the head of the class
If you can't beat "em, join "em
I"ll take a rain check
It's not my scene
Something is not the end of the world
The ball is in your court
Something is just what the doctor ordered
Keeping up with the Joneses
Life begins at forty
Like hell I will
A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do
My heart bleeds for you
There's no percentage in it
Now I"ve heard/seen everything
The party's over
Say it, don't spray it
Straighten up and fly right
Something is strictly for the birds
There's always a first time
Think nothing of it
To coin a phrase
To put in one's two cents worth
Want to bet on it?
Want to make something of it?
We was robbed!
When you gotta go, you gotta go
You ain't heard nothing yet
You can't win "em all
You could twist my arm
You"ve got rocks in your head
You"re out of your cotton- picking mind
Lawyers: "Ambulance chasers"
To be behind the eight ball
To go on a blind date
Something is a blockbuster
Prostitute: "Call Girl"
To be a creep
Something is crummy
She's is a floosy
Get a load of this!
Something is a humdinger
Someone is in the hot seat
New words added to Collins Dictionary:
About These Tools
An introduction to History by Decades by Larry Belling. More...